What We Can Learn from Don Draper and Company
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Mad Men, the multiple-Emmy-winning, AMC drama that centers on an advertising agency in Manhattan in the 1960s. And while, yes, much of the show is devoted to capturing the enigma of the time period, an equal portion of it is an insight into one man’s uncanny ability to connect to the hearts and minds (and wallets) of people through creative, spot-on advertising.
Although much has changed in the way we go about reaching our customer bases, the same principles, those about connecting to our audiences in interesting and engaging ways still apply. And perhaps never before has a personal approach to marketing been so necessary to reach the demographics you need to in order to expand your business and experience more ultimate success. Even if you’re just starting out on your journey to a creating compelling, engaging content that reaches and engages your customers, it’s important to remember that helpful advice can be found in the most unlikely of places, even in our television shows. Here are a few lessons from Mad Men on effective creative content.
Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Things Up
As Don Draper has shown time and time again, being original is an indispensable benefit when it comes to keeping your current customers and attracting new ones. Anyone can hop on Facebook and post links to their blog with no personal heading attached. But your followers aren’t going to be engaged by content that lacks a personal touch. People are attracted to brands and companies that feel accessible, that take the time to interact with them on multiple levels; lazy personal branding and content creation will simply not attract, interest or engage people in the ways that more conscious approaches to customer interaction will. Take for instance Draper’s incendiary Kodak campaign from season 1, which included this visionary pitch about appealing to the customer’s heart, even given the rather boring product he’s been charged with selling.
Analyze Your Customers, and Give Them What They Want
One thing that Don Draper has been fabulous at throughout the course of Mad Men is analyzing what people want, and delivering campaigns that consistently provide them with that thing. Whether it’s a sensitivity and ability to reflect the changing trends in music, communication or lifestyles among your customer base and within your interactions with them, showing that you’re paying careful attention not only to your customers’ lives, but what could make them easier, is a huge part of developing a loyal following.
Don’t Forget Teamwork
It can be difficult to collaborate with our co-workers when it comes to creating good content; we often see the creative process as personal, and thus we close doors to our colleagues’ input. But as Don Draper has shown several times on the show, asking your fellow creatives’ advice on the particular effect of a blog or how they feel about an idea for a Facebook post is a great way to ensure that you have all the angles on how you’re interacting with your customers and will also ensure that no reputation-challenging snafus occur in the content you’re issuing to your social media networks.
Don’s relationship with Peggy is a perfect example of his reliance on and trust in her opinion, not only on his work but on the entire basis of their profession. Teamwork is one of the most invaluable avenues to constructing a stronger business and presence among your audience. Don’t forget that two (or more) heads are usually better than one.
Your Experiences are Relevant; Use Them
As Don Draper has shown time and again, personal experiences are some of the best ways to connect to your customers. Not only does it render more effective, personal and human content, but it provides your customers with a sense that they know you, and in turn, know your business. We can’t espouse enough the value of an effective personal brand when it comes to keeping your clients interested; even if your product or business isn’t incredibly riveting, using one of your own human experiences to make your product tangibly relevant to your customers is invaluable in establishing a strong presence in all social media platforms and attracting new customers.
If You Don’t Like What’s Being Said, Change the Conversation
We might often forget that a large portion of marketing power lies in the ability to change people’s perceptions of things, especially a product or service. If you’re facing the mountain of making a decidedly snooze-worthy company engaging and interesting to customers, you might find your head on a bit of a spin. Boring things are boring, after all.
But one thing we can learn from Don Draper is that the power to bring a company into the forefront of its desired customers’ minds is to “change the conversation.” Choose your creative angle and go for the gusto; your brand is one of the more valuable things your business has but you have to build one before you can enjoy its spoils.
How do you create compelling content marketing?